America’s Most Obese Pets: The Where, the How, the Why

They seem confused by the reason the obesity trends for pets and people is so different. 

Here at FIREPAW, the reason seems pretty clear…it all comes down to SES status:

Low average socioeconomic level = worse diet/fatter people

Higher socioeconomic level = more indoor and pampered pets/fatter pets


These states have the fattest pets — and they might surprise you

It might seem logical that the states with the highest prevalence of overweight people would have the highest percentages of hefty pets. But…

Not according to a new report based on the physiques of more than 2.5 million dogs and 500,000 cats in the United States. In some cases, it found nearly the opposite patterns for people and pets: Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi — which have some of the nation’s highest rates of human obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — all ranked in the bottom five states for overweight or obese pets. Dogs and cats in Colorado were in the top 20.

Topping the list for both chunky dogs and fat cats: Minnesota, where 41 percent of pooches and 46 percent of kitties were rated by veterinarians as overweight or obese. In second place for both species was Nebraska, where the figures were 39 percent for dogs and 43 percent for cats…

But while regional trends and people-pet relationships are murky, the overall picture when it comes to pet heft is not. Lots of American dogs and cats are far too heavy, and as a group they’re getting heavier all the time. Banfield says it has tracked a 158 percent increase in overweight dogs over the past 10 years. The prevalence of overweight cats has shot up 169 percent.

And it’s worth noting that Banfield’s numbers are actually lower than other commonly cited figures from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). According to that organization, which relied on a far smaller sample size, a stunning 54 percent of dogs and 59 percent of cats were overweight or obese in 2016…


Here are the states with the highest percentage of overweight dogs, according to Banfield’s State of Pet Health Report:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Michigan
  4. Idaho
  5. Nevada
  6. New Mexico
  7. Washington
  8. Utah
  9. Indiana
  10. Oregon

And here are the top 10 for cats:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Iowa
  4. Idaho
  5. Delaware
  6. Michigan
  7. Nevada
  8. Kansas
  9. Utah
  10. New Mexico

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